Chicken Marengo with Polenta

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 8

This recipe uses simple ingredients for maximum impact. It is a classic that has served the test of time, first being served to Napoleon Bonaparte.


Chicken Marengo with Polenta:

8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp (30 mL) whole wheat flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (250 mL) onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz (285 g) mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cups (170 mL) dry white wine
1 can canned diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) black pepper, freshly ground
9 Kalamata olives
2 tsp (10 mL) sage, dried
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) sage, ground
1/2 cup (125 mL) parsley


5 cups (1.25 L) water
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1 1/2 cup (375 mL) cornmeal (polenta), fine
1/2 cup (125 mL) Italian five cheese blend, grated


Chicken Marengo with Polenta

1 Trim excess fat from underside of thighs.
2 Place flour on a plate and roll chicken pieces in flour to coat well.
3 Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add chicken and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook on other side for another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
4 Slice mushrooms (or buy them already sliced), chop onions, and mince the garlic. Add vegetables to pot and sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
5 Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up brown bits from the bottom. Stir diced tomatoes with juices into the pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low. Add chicken pieces and cover with sauce and simmer 20-30 minutes with lid off to slightly reduce juices.
6 Pit black olives and slice to make ¼ cup (50 mL).
7 Season dish with freshly ground black pepper, olives and dried sage and simmer with lid on 10-15 minutes. Stir in minced parsley.
8 To serve, spread a thick layer of polenta over the bottom of a large serving platter creating a well in the centre. Fill centre with cooked chicken pieces and pour over some of the sauce. Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley. Serve extra sauce in a serving dish.


1 Place water and salt in a large heavy bottom pot and bring to a boil. Whisk in cornmeal slowly in a fine stream, stirring constantly. When mixture bubbles, reduce heat and cook on low heat for 5 minutes for instant cornmeal and 20-30 minutes for regular cornmeal. Stir in the grated cheese.